How Long to Beat

How Long to Beat: Mastering Your Gaming Journey in 5 Days

Are you a gamer who loves to play different kinds of video games, but often feels overwhelmed by the sheer amount of time and effort required to finish them? Do you have a huge backlog of games that you want to play, but don’t know where to start or how to prioritize them? Do you want to get the most out of your gaming experience, without sacrificing your other commitments and responsibilities?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this article is for you. In this article, we will show you how to use a simple and effective tool called How Long To Beat to plan and optimize your gaming journey in just 5 days. By following our tips and tricks, you will be able to:

  • Find out how long it will take you to beat any video game, based on your preferred play style and goals.
  • Compare your game times with other players and see how you stack up against them.
  • Manage your gaming backlog and decide which games to play next, based on your available time and interest.
  • Track your progress and achievements across different platforms and genres.
  • Discover new games that match your taste and preferences.

Ready to start? Let’s begin!

Day 1: Create an Account and Import Your Games

The first step is to create a free account on How Long To Beat, the ultimate website for tracking game lengths and completion times. How Long To Beat (HLTB for short) is a user-driven website that collects and displays data from thousands of gamers around the world. You can use HLTB to find out how long it will take you to complete any game, from the main story to the extra content and everything in between. You can also compare your game times with other players, see how long your backlog will take to finish, and discover new games that suit your style.

To create an account, simply go to the HLTB website and click on the “Sign Up!” button at the top right corner. You will need to enter a username, a password, and an email address. Once you have verified your email, you can log in and access your profile page.

The next step is to import your games from your Steam account. This will save you a lot of time and hassle, as you won’t have to manually enter each game title and platform. To import your Steam games, go to your profile page and click on the “Import” tab. You will see a button that says “Import Steam Games”. Click on it and follow the instructions. You will need to enter your Steam ID or profile URL, and make sure that your Steam profile is public. Once you have done that, HLTB will automatically scan your Steam library and add all the games that are in its database.

You can also import games from other platforms, such as PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Epic Games, GOG, Origin, Uplay, etc. To do that, you will need to use a third-party tool called Playnite, which is a free open source video game library manager. Playnite allows you to integrate all your games from different platforms into one unified interface. You can then export your Playnite library as a CSV file, and import it into How Long To Beat (HLTB) using the “Import CSV” option.

Alternatively, you can manually add games to your How Long To Beat (HLTB) profile by using the search bar at the top of the website. You can search for any game by its title or by its genre, platform, developer, publisher, etc. Once you find the game you want to add, click on the “Submit” button next to it. You can then choose which category to put it in: Backlog (games you haven’t started yet), Playing (games you are currently playing), Completed (games you have finished), Retired (games you have given up on), or Custom (games you want to put in a custom list).

Day 2: Choose Your Play Style and Goals

Now that you have imported or added all your games to your How Long To Beat profile, it’s time to choose how you want to play them. How Long To Beat (HLTB) offers four different play styles for each game: Main Story (Required), Main + Extra (Optional), Completionist (100%), and Combined (All). Each play style has an estimated completion time based on the average of all user submissions.

  • Main Story (Required): This is the minimum amount of time required to complete the main objectives of the game, just enough to see the credits roll. This is ideal for gamers who want to experience the core story and gameplay of the game without getting distracted by side quests or collectibles.
  • Main + Extra (Optional): This is the average amount of time required to complete the main objectives plus some additional tasks that are not required for the main story. This may include optional quests, hidden areas, secret bosses, mini-games, etc. This is ideal for gamers who want to explore more of the game world and enjoy some extra content along the way.
  • Completionist (100%): This is the maximum amount of time required to complete everything that the game has to offer. This includes all quests, collectibles, achievements, trophies, challenges, etc. This is ideal for gamers who want to master the game and achieve 100% completion.
  • Combined (All): This is the average of all play styles considered during estimation. This gives you a general idea of how long the game will take to complete, regardless of your play style.

To choose your play style for each game, go to your profile page and click on the “Edit” button next to the game title. You will see a drop-down menu that allows you to select one of the four play styles. You can also enter your own estimated time or actual time if you have already played or finished the game. Once you have chosen your play style and time, click on the “Save” button.

You can also choose your goals for each game, such as whether you want to beat it, complete it, or replay it. To do that, go to your profile page and click on the “Edit” button next to the game title. You will see a checkbox that says “Beat”, “Complete”, or “Replay”. Check the box that corresponds to your goal for the game. You can also add a note or a review for each game if you want.

Distribution of Games by Play Style for “How Long To Beat”

The table shows the percentage of games in each play style, based on the average of all user submissions on HowLongToBeat. The play style is determined by how much of the game content the user has completed or intends to complete, from the main story to the extra content and everything in between. 

Distribution of Games by Play Style
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Day 3: Manage Your Backlog and Prioritize Your Games

One of the main benefits of using How Long To Beat (HLTB) is that it helps you manage your gaming backlog and decide which games to play next. A gaming backlog is a list of games that you own but haven’t played or finished yet. Many gamers have a huge backlog of games that they want to play someday, but never find the time or motivation to do so. This can lead to frustration, guilt, and wasted money.

HLTB helps you overcome this problem by showing you how long it will take you to finish your backlog, based on your chosen play style and goals. To see your backlog time, go to your profile page and look at the top right corner. You will see a number that says “Backlog Time”. This is the total amount of time required to finish all the games in your backlog category.

You can also see how long it will take you to finish each individual game in your backlog by looking at the “Time” column next to each game title. This will show you the estimated completion time based on your chosen play style and goal.

By knowing how long it will take you to finish your backlog, you can plan and prioritize your gaming sessions accordingly. You can also use some tips and tricks to reduce your backlog time and make it more manageable:

  • Sort your games by completion time: You can sort your games by ascending or descending order of completion time by clicking on the “Time” column header. This will help you identify which games are shorter or longer, and which ones you can finish quickly or slowly.
  • Play one game at a time: It may be tempting to play multiple games at once, especially if you have a lot of different genres and platforms to choose from. However, this can lead to confusion, distraction, and loss of interest. It is better to focus on one game at a time and finish it before moving on to the next one. This will help you maintain your attention span, immersion, and enjoyment.
  • Set a schedule: If you have a busy life and limited time for gaming, it may be hard to find a consistent and convenient time slot for playing. To solve this problem, you can set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. For example, you can dedicate an hour or two every day or every week for gaming, depending on your availability and preference. You can also use a calendar app or a reminder tool to keep track of your gaming sessions and avoid missing them.
  • Use a timer: Another way to optimize your gaming time is to use a timer or an alarm clock. You can set a specific amount of time for each gaming session, such as 30 minutes, an hour, or more. When the timer goes off, you stop playing and save your progress. This will help you avoid playing too much or too little, and keep a balance between gaming and other activities.
  • Play with friends: Playing with friends can make gaming more fun and social. You can also motivate each other to finish your games and share your experiences and opinions. You can use HLTB’s community features to find other players who are playing the same games as you, or join online forums and groups dedicated to specific games or genres.

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Day 4: Track Your Progress and Achievements

Another benefit of using How Long To Beat is that it helps you track your progress and achievements across different games and platforms. You can use HLTB’s statistics and tracking features to see how far you have come in your gaming journey, how much more you have left to do, and how well you are doing compared to other players.

To track your progress and achievements, go to your profile page and click on the “Stats” tab. You will see a dashboard that shows you various statistics and graphs related to your gaming history, such as:

  • Total Games: The number of games you have in your How Long To Beat profile, divided by category (Backlog, Playing, Completed, Retired, Custom).
  • Total Time: The total amount of time you have spent or will spend on your games, divided by category and play style.
  • Average Time: The average amount of time you spend or will spend on each game, divided by category and play style.
  • Completion Rate: The percentage of games you have completed or retired, divided by category and play style.
  • Platform Breakdown: The distribution of games you have by platform, such as PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, etc.
  • Genre Breakdown: The distribution of games you have by genre, such as Action, Adventure, RPG, Strategy, etc.
  • Year Breakdown: The distribution of games you have by year of release, from the oldest to the newest.
  • Longest Games: The top 10 longest games you have played or will play, based on your chosen play style and goal.
  • Shortest Games: The top 10 shortest games you have played or will play, based on your chosen play style and goal.

You can also see your progress and achievements for each individual game by clicking on the game title. You will see a page that shows you various details and data about the game, such as:

  • Game Info: The basic information about the game, such as its title, cover art, genre, platform, developer, publisher, release date, etc.
  • Game Times: The estimated completion times for each play style (Main Story, Main + Extra, Completionist, Combined), based on the average of all user submissions. You can also see your own estimated time or actual time if you have entered it.
  • Game Stats: The statistics related to your game progress and performance, such as your completion status (Beat, Complete, Replay), your completion percentage (0% to 100%), your rating (1 to 5 stars), your note or review (optional), and your rank (how you compare to other players in terms of completion time).
  • Game Lists: The lists that contain the game, such as your Backlog, Playing, Completed, Retired, or Custom lists. You can also see other lists that are related to the game, such as Similar Games (games that are similar in genre or gameplay), Popular Games (games that are popular among HLTB users), New Games (games that are recently released), and Random Games (games that are randomly selected).
  • Game Forum: The forum where you can discuss the game with other HLTB users. You can post comments or questions about the game, share your opinions or tips, or join existing threads or topics.

By using these features, you can keep track of your gaming progress and achievements across different games and platforms. You can also see how you are doing compared to other players and learn from their experiences and insights.

Day 5: Discover New Games and Recommendations

Another benefit of using HLTB is that it helps you discover new games and recommendations that match your taste and preferences. You can use HLTB’s discovery and recommendation features to find new games that you may like or enjoy playing.

To discover new games, go to the HLTB website and click on the “Discover” tab. You will see a page that shows you various ways to find new games, such as:

  • Search: You can search for any game by its title or by its genre, platform, developer, publisher, etc. You can also use advanced filters to narrow down your search results by criteria such as release date range, user rating range, completion time range, etc.
  • Browse: You can browse through different categories of games that are curated by How Long To Beat staff or users. Some examples of categories are Featured Games (games that are highlighted by HLTB staff), User Picks (games that are recommended by How Long To Beat users), Top Games (games that are ranked by user rating or popularity), Trending Games (games that are gaining attention or interest among How Long To Beat users), Upcoming Games (games that are scheduled to be released soon), etc.
  • Randomize: You can randomize your game selection by clicking on the “Randomize” button. This will show you a random game from the HLTB database. You can also specify some parameters for the randomization process, such as genre preference (any genre or specific genres), platform preference (any platform or specific platforms), completion time preference (any time or specific time range), etc.

To get recommendations for games that suit your taste and preferences, go to your profile page and click on the “Recommendations” tab. You will see a page that shows you various types of recommendations, such as:

  • Based on Your Games: These are games that are similar to the games you have in your HLTB profile, based on genre, gameplay, theme, etc. You can see how many games you have in common with each recommendation, and how well they match your taste.
  • Based on Your Ratings: These are games that have high user ratings from How Long To Beat (HLTB) users who have rated the games you have in your How Long To Beat (HLTB) profile. You can see how many ratings you have in common with each recommendation, and how well they match your preference.
  • Based on Your Time: These are games that have completion times that fit your available time and play style. You can see how long each recommendation will take to finish, based on your chosen play style and goal.
  • Based on Your Platform: These are games that are available on the platforms you own or prefer. You can see which platforms each recommendation is compatible with, and how well they match your platform choice.

You can also get personalized recommendations from other How Long To Beat (HLTB) users by using the “Request Recommendation” feature. To do that, go to the “Recommendations” page and click on the “Request Recommendation” button.

You will see a form that allows you to specify some criteria for your request, such as genre preference, platform preference, completion time preference, etc. You can also write a brief message explaining what kind of game you are looking for. Once you submit your request, it will be posted on the How Long To Beat forum, where other users can reply with their suggestions.

By using these features, you can discover new games and recommendations that match your taste and preferences. You can also expand your gaming horizon and try new genres and experiences.

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